Under the Gold Dome
Monday, March 3rd marks the 30th day of the legislative session, better known as “cross-over” day. “Cross-over” day is an important milestone in the legislative session as it the deadline for when a piece of legislation must have passed in at least one of the two chambers to have any chance of becoming law this year. Because of this pending deadline the House worked long hours this week making sure important pieces of legislation passed the House chamber or were in the position for a vote on Crossover Day.
One piece of common-sense legislation passed this week was HB826. This legislation moved Georgia away from its’ stiff zero-tolerance policy for school safety violations. Putting forth improved flexibility for local school systems to consider all facts surrounding a violation, under HB826 schools will no longer be forced to expel a student who inadvertently brought a fishing knife to school. Instead, local school systems may levy a lesser penalty if they determine the child had no intent to use the object as a weapon. Not only does this bill promote local control, but may very well prevent a student’s record being destroyed by a simple innocent mistake.
Additionally, the House passed House Bill 804 which will protect children from the psychological trauma that can result from testifying in court about cases of abuse. It can be extremely troubling for a minor to have to sit in the court room with someone who they were previously were close with and who had abused them. HB804 would allow these abused children with court approval to give their testimony through a live broadcast.
I was extremely pleased this week to see House Bill 910, which I authored, clear the House Chamber with only 2 dissenting votes. HB910 would further develop the concept of medical-legal partnerships in Georgia. Medical-legal partnerships, or MLPs, are joint voluntary collaborations between medical and legal professionals with the goal of providing more effective private sector healthcare. MLPs provide patient centered healthcare solutions while saving vital state Medicaid dollars. I look forward to working with the Senate to see HB910 successfully through.
In addition to House Bill 910, I also passed a resolution honoring the Centennial Anniversary of the City of Aragon. I was proud to honor Aragon’s rich historical past and look forward to seeing its future growth. At a time deemed appropriate by Aragon’s Mayor and Council I will present the resolution, but if you would like to see the text of the resolution you can do so here.
The General Assembly had a special treat this week as Olympic Medalist, Elana Myers, from Douglasville stopped by the House Chamber. Elana has recently returned from the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, where she brought home both a silver and bronze medal in women’s bobsledding.
It was great visiting with an Olympic medalist, but for me this week brought my favorite kind of visitor, those from the 16th District. This week I had 4 different individuals come up and page in the House Chamber and on Friday I had the opportunity to host the entire 8th Grade Class from Rockmart Middle School. It is always special to have visitors from the 16th District come to visit their State Capitol. If would like to schedule a visit just let me know.
With just eleven days left in this legislative session, I am proud of the work we have already accomplished, and hope you are too. It is my honor to serve as your Representative. I take my responsibilities seriously, and make it a point to carefully weigh any legislation which crosses my desk for a vote. To help me accomplish this goal, please feel free to contact me to share your opinion on pending legislation or if I can help you in any other way. and you can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, I ask you to keep me and our other state officials in your prayers.